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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Caspoi

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Hail to you our Murunda, also known as Khan among our Turkish tribesmen. For too long our tribe has been driven away from our homelands in the east by the encroaching hordes of Turks and Yuezhi, our ancestral homelands have been abandoned and our tribe has been forced to swear allegiance to our conquerors, no more. With you portents tell of a return of the Saka Raukas, the royal Sakas. We shall retake the steppe and make it scythian once more, we shall restore the fire in our ancient temples of the south, we shall do what the Persians and the Parthians did before us and claim leadership of an Iranian Empire. If you will only lead us, Murunda Sharasa.


(I had to use console commands to get around the fact that there is a bug stopping me from playing as vassal nomads when using ruler designer, that is why the ruler and vassal of the Pecheneg have switched places.)

OOC: The Sakas, or Scythians as the Greeks called them, were an Eastern Iranian people who dominated the Eurasian steppes before they started being displaced by the Turks in the 7th century AD, they still survived in the Kingdom of Khotan in the Tarim Basin until the 11th century (hence why Paradox added them in the latest patch) but those are boring (and I have done them before) so I have used the Ruler designer to create some proper nomadic Sakas, who are also Zoroastrian. The justification for their existance being that they are vassals to Turkic Khagans who have not yet assimilated in the earliest start date (seems plausable enough). The goal is to take over the steppes and then pour down and conquer the Abbasid Empire, preferably with my first character. After that I will go for a more vanilla settled, Persian, playthrough but I will countinue supporting my nomadic brethren in the north. If and when I reach the end date I will probably convert it into EUIV and for that reason as well as to not make it too easy for myself I will reign my conquests in after I have established the Persian Empire, going more or less for the size of the Achaemenid Empire.

Also of note, I have not yet decided where I will have my capital, Esfahan has been it fore most of my previous Persian playthroughs despite the fact that it was not of significant importance during this era so while I am not completely discounting it other ideas, such as the restoration of Ctestiphon or Susa, are apreciated.


These are the following game rules for this playthrough:

Major Epidemics: Delayed Dynamic

Minor Epidemics: Default

Mongol Invasion: Delayed Dynamic

Aztec Invasion: Off

Chinese Invasion: All

Chinese Interactions: Within Range

Border Dispute Wars: On

New Casus Belli: On

Devil Worshippers: None

Secret Religious Cults: Default

Turkic Conquerors: Random

Non-Epidemic Diseases: Default

Shattered Retreat: On

Siege Assaults: On

Siege Events: On

Defensive Pacts: On

Gender Equality: Historical

Supernatural Events: On [Not going to use immortality if it appear as it changes the game too much but in general these events provide nice flavour]

Dynamic de jure drift: Restricted

De jure Assimilation Duration: Default

De Jure Requirement: Required

Nomad Stability: Unstable

Culture Conversion: Combination

Religious Conversion Speed: Slower

Raiding: Historical

Adventurers: Normal

Interfaith Marriages: Restricted

Matrilineal Marriages: On

Custom Realms: On

Story Events: On

Vassal Republic: Restricted

Vassal Theocracies: Restricted

Invitation to Court: Default

Diplomatic Range: On

Provincial Revolts: On

Provincial Revolt Strength: Very Powerful

Defensive Attrition: On

Pagan Reformation: Allowed

Regencies: On

Assassination: Plots Only

AI Seduction: On

AI Intrigue: On

Dueling: Default

Release Prisoner after Punishment: On

Titles Named After Dynasties: On

Cultural Title Names: On

Demesne Size: Half

Vassal Limit: Default

Grant Independence: Restricted

Childhood Focus Alerts: Close Relatives
 
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stnylan

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Well now, here is hoping the glory of Ahura Mazda can be preserved.
 
Part 1 - A Khan begins his conquest

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As Sharasa took over the Saka he realised something important: they were dying out. The Saka had suffered one missfortune after another and has people were now close to extinction, at least as fas as he knew. He considered his option as he sat in his tent, surrounded by advisors, most of which belonging to the Pecheneg tribe that he had sworn allegiance to and as he did he came to a conclusion: only through a strong leader willing to do what is necessary, to guide the Saka where they must go, to take the decisions that no one else would take and most importantly to crush anyone standing in his way can they endure on these harsh and chaotic steppes. He must be that leader, he must take charge of fate itself, to steer it in a way beneficial to his people. Ahura Mazda himself willed it, astrologers claimed that the stars showed clearly at the time of his birth that the age of missfortune was at an end and that a new age of prosperity was dawning.

His right hand man, Kostas, looked as surly as usual, an ambitious fellow he had never gotten over that he had not been appointed leader of the tribe, as he enjoyed much support from its Turkish elements.
"I take it our Khan has returned to the living", he said as Sharasa rose up.
"That I have", he said, striding out of of the tent. "Gather our men, we are going to war"

Calling the steppes chaotic is no exageration, only a few days ago the Tobol tribe to the north had declared war on Yaik to the west and the Yugra realm had made attempts to subjugate Tyumen. Taking on stronger enemies head on was unwise in this situation but using this conflict to the tribe's advantage was entirely within Sharasa's reach. He quickly mustered his men to ride north and take lands from the Tobol while their soldiers were away and as he did so he went to the herds and took the finest horse for himself. The horse he named Sky and to all of the realms under the sky it would take him.

as he led his men north his own Khagan, Karaca, sent word to him. The Yabguids to the southwest had a long rivalry with the Pechenegs and the Khagan had now declared war on them to take Syr Darya and gain access to the Aral Sea. Sharasa had never quite seen eye to eye with his leader, neither quite trusted one another and he had never made it a secret that he considered himself a better ruler, but he did not think ill of the idea. After all the Pecheneg wasting men to expand a realm that might one day be his is nothing to think ill of.

His plan with the Tobols worked perfectly at any rate, before they knew it he had secured their main encampment for himself and forced them to retreat east. Meanwhile Karaca was winning his war in the south and the Yugra had taken over the Tyumen. This presented a new opportunity and rather go home after this victory Sharasa countinued his march northwards to relieve the Yugra of lands that they in the long run could not hold anyway.

As his troops secured the land, meeting little resistance as the Yugra had alreadt disbanded their armies, thinking that the war was over, he got a very strange meeting. A man, arriving from the Tang Empire in the east came to him. He was weary from his long travels and his clothes, once of luxurios silk, were patched and dirty. He came with a request for protection, asking the Khan to take him in. He did not mention it but he was clearly on the run from some political purge after having displeased the emperor.
"I am of a noble family, great leader, and have been educated in the courts of Tang itself, I could be of great service to you."
"Yet your standing with Tang is in peril I deduce and by taking you in so is mine, would your service be of enough benefit to compensate?"
He contemplated the offer while the Han offered multiple platitudes and promises until he finally decided against his better judgement to take him in, the man had a way to make very flattering arguments and having him lead the realms diplomacy could be a good idea, certainly the current occupier of that position was worthless and the prestige of having a Chinese man in the court would hopefully compensate for annoying the emperor of China, hopefully.

Or perhaps not, oh well, the die is, as they say, cast. Tang is far away, how could they hurt us here?

Right, that way.

While such minor incidents went on a very annoying game of cat and mouse had erupted where the Yugrans followed our army and retook our lands and also occupied our capital. While this provided valuable battle experience it also sorely tested our Khan's patiencee and he was determined to bring forth a decisive battle to show them who is the leader of the northern steppes, apart from the Khagan of course.

Unfortunately the Tobol, despite their defeat against the Saka, had won against the Yaik and were now looking for revenge, Sharasa had managed to draw the Yugra to battle on his terms and narrowly avoided them joining armies with the Tobol, which most certainly would have been his doom, but now another battle was upon him. He prayed to Ahura Mazda for strength, nocked his bow and gave orders to his men.

Then suddenly out of nowhere his Khan emerged and attacked to Tobol in the rear, his campaign against the Yabguid, while without decisive victory, had gone well and he now turned his gaze northwards to drive the Tobol back.

The Tobol, while equal in numbers and not without an intelligent leader of their own, were taken back by this turn of events and were forced to retreat, Kipchak was retaken and victory against the Yugra was assured. Sharasa privately thought for himself that mayby, just mayby his Khagan wasn't so bad, despite the poor first impression he had given and the fact that he stood in his way to become leader of the steppes, he would still revolt against him when he felt strong enough for sure, but not without regret any longer.
 

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Quite the conflict to start off the game. Hopefully the Emperor will just treat your intransigence with disdain.
 

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Quite the conflict to start off the game. Hopefully the Emperor will just treat your intransigence with disdain.
Yes, my plan is to become Saoshyant with this character and thus I must use the years I have as well as I can, plus better to gain an advantage at the beginning and then let your Manpower recover than wait while other blobs form.

I hope so as well, funny thing is that I wrote the post as I played (so as to better gain pictures appropriate to the subject) so at the time I wrote how the emperor couldn't possibly hurt us here my chinese nobleman had not yet died, showed me I suppose.
 
Part 2 - it is good to be Khagan

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After the victory over the Tobol Sharasa helped his Khagan fight the Yabguidi, who were suffering serious problems from being attacked form all sides, after a climactic battle at their capital much of their northeastern land was taken and divided between the two leaders (OOC: I immideatly declared war on them myself so as to take some land as well). However relations between Sharasa and his Khagan had soured again, the Khagan's son had been injured during this battle and Karaca blamed him. Having finally gotten enough of his overlord Sharasa took his men to his camp and made quick and efficient coup where he took control over all of the important parts of the tent city and captured and executed Karaca, proclaiming himself the new Khagan.

(I really did not expect it to be this easy, oh well, at least I don't have to bother with him any longer)

His son, now suddenly the ruler of only a small part of this growing empire, was to say the least a bit miffed about the whole thing, not that his opinion would matter much as he died from an infection in his wounds not long thereafter. Nevertheless his grandson seems to have inherited his father's and grandfather's hatred of Sharasa and then some, impressive for a two year old how much rage about one person he could display. countinued expansion on the Yabguid's (who have had a change of leadership since the last war and were now the Boxok, presumably because the Bozok tribe had had enough with their leaders, good for them), and Tobol's cost happened as per usual but on a more personal note after Sharasa had made himself leader of the tribes of the central steppe he experienced something peculiar, love. As he rode home from the day's hunt he met a rather incredible woman, peasant of course but what can you expect when there were about six noble women in all of Asia, called Tekce. Her soft and melodic voice and pleasant behavior made him quite smitten and as he realised that he was getting on in years and had not yet sired an heir he decided to marry her on the spot.


She sired him a pretty little son a year later who he decided to call Shambhava, naming him his heir and the next ruler of his growing empire. Most unfortunately however Tekce died soon thereafter due to tumourus growth that she had aquired, spelling a quick end to their relationship. Not everything goes well for our Khagan and as he departed from her corpse, soon to be devoured by the circling crows, he took her neclace with him, as an eternal reminder of how cruel fate sometimes can be.

While the statement that the steppes are chaotic is as true as ever it should be noted that the rest of the world is scarcely better, both the Tang and the Abbasids have descended into civil wars, with many of the occupied peoples of the latter taking the opportunity to rise up in rebellion against their masters, far to the west the great Frankish Empire faces attacks from the north and Rome seems determined to regain her lost glory, using the weakness of the Abbasids to try and subjugate the Armenians after having already dealt with the Bulgars in the north. Even Tibet is not safe from strife as the Sumpa chafe under the rule of the Bödpa.


However while these things happened in the world a more urgent matter was at hand at home, the Haravoi. Still bitter over their loss of learship the clan had proven itself a thorn in Sharasa's side. Finally deciding that he would no longer tolerate them undermining his leadership he declared that the clan would be disbanded and absorbed within the larger Saka clan. This time however the Haravoi were ready and their troops turned on him at the Aral shores. Still, their clan had been weakened by the years of fighting while his had prospered, truly showing the inevitable victory of the Saka. His troops made short work of the enemy and rode to destroy their capital, finally spelling an end of the Haravoi, and with them the Pecheneg as a distinct entity. However a Khagan can not be everywhere at once and he had a hard enough time managing his own lands without also taking care of those of the Haravoi, thus he declared the formation of two new clans, formed from trusted soldiers under his command, one would be the Kustana in the norht and the other would be the Hinzana in ths south. With their added strength he felt confident in his strength and began planning the next step in this whole operation. After all, while the Saka had held greater success in these days than they had for a very long time they did not truly prosper on these harsh steppes, far away from their rich home in the Tarim Basin, they must go south to the warm land of Mesopotamia and the Iranian plateau, only there could the Saka be wealthy people. The people down there would probably welcome their arrival as well, suffering Arab rule as they did.


At this point the entirety of central Asia was in a state of collapse with the Sogdians regaining power from the Arabs, only to end up fighting among themselves, while the Karluks made a return in the east while in the south the Baloch seem poised to take control over all of eastern Iran (I probably should not have given peasant revolts four times as many troops, the AI is utterly incapable of handling them it turns out). Seeing an opportunity for what it is Sharasa marched south to subjugate Sogdiana, a succesful realm until it was torn apart by sectarian violence between proper Zoroastrians and heretics to the north. If the Sogdians submit to his rule the way into the Middle East was open.

They soon surrendered to his superior forces and he quickly began consolidating his power in the area, putting many of the rebel groups under their proper authority. At the same time in China rebel groups had taken control over the country and reestablished (or so they said) the Qin dynasty, in time ushering a new era of peace in the area.


on a more personal level, Sky had to be replaced after a horse from the Kustana clan killed him. Seeing the turmoil over the rulership of the dragon throne in the east, and envisioning how he would sweep down on the south like a dragon Sharasa named his new horse after that might creature, hoping that it would bring him fortune. After having crushed the rebel groups he now moved in to crush the Karluks and the Sogdians within the mountains, reasoning that once he had his back clear he could begin subjugating the Iranian realms and then finally crush the Abbasids. That he reasoned must be his destiny, to defeat the Arabs just as the Parthians had once defeated the Greeks, to bear the mantle of Shahanshah. He had since the conquest of Khiva become very interested in reading history and had started to abandon the simple wish of bringing wealth and prosperity to the Saka for a much grander ambition. He would unite all of the Zoroastrian people under his banner and establish an empire the likes of which has never been seen since the days of Cyrus, a wise and benevolent king he would certainly be (completely unrelated to this question he had also aquired the proud trait, I wonder why).

Edit: fixed the last picture as I have actually progressed more than it showed.
 
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It does rather sound like everything has started off full tilt. Interesting to see the new China mechanics.
 

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Part 3 - The graveyard of empires they say?

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After having defeated the insular muslim state of Fergana as well as their Uyghur overlords Sharasa turned his gaze back south, the Taid, the last remnant of the Arab occupation of the eastern Iranian plateau, fight to hold on to their realm from forces both Arab and Iranian, while the Hindu (Zunist) Zunbils and Buddhist Nandin posture over who is the true ruler of Afghanistan. The Baloch, overextending themselves as they try to conquer Oman, which is currently attacked from all sides, are now under attack from the Indian Taghlakids, who are trying to take the area for themselves.

Meanwhile in the west Karl's empire is torn asunder as the Merovingans make a last attempt to regain power, even as their dynasty is at its last gasps. The Umayyads, kin and enemy to the Abbasids, fare no better as their empire is falling to Christian rebels. In the north the Saxons and the Swedes had come to dominate the rest of the Germanic tribes and had begun to raid and attack other realms, even those far oversea.



Shambhava, son and heir of Sharasa had also now come of age. He had become as fine a son as any, having made himself noteworthy during the battle of Fergana with his bravery and inspired tactics, leading a small sqaudron to victory during a skirmish with the enemy. He was however very melancholic and had asked his father for a wife, so as to better fulfill his duty towards the realm. Sharasa on the other hand had become rather protective of his son, and had himself not come over the death of his own wife. He proclaimed that no woman worthy his son had yet to be seen under this realm, and that he did not wish to force his son to accept anything "subpar". He was however granted a position on his father's council so as to better prepare him for when he would rule.

After having destroyed Khutal and Balkh, ruled over by the traitorous Samanids, Sharasa finally attacked the Taids, joined by the vassal state of Sogdiana, the latter having proven itself a remarkable loyal servant, ruled over by Shah Maniakh of the Maniaids, the leader of the anti-muslim uprising that had destoryed the Bajanid emirate. He had been granted stewardship of much of the newly conquered lands in the area, so as to establish a properly Zoroastrian Sogdia. The Shah was not in the best of healths however and the long years of fighting for a united Sogdia had worn his body down, so he died and his far less young and far less popular son ascended to the throne of Sogdia, or Margiana as it was called amongst the Saka.

Victory was to be theirs however as the Taids had lost most of their armies defending themselves against the Tamimi of the Abbasid Empire and it was only a question of sieging down their forts to force a surrender. Meanwhile the Ferzadids to the south had countinued to get beaten both by internal revolts and the advance of their Indian and now Afghan neighbors. The Zunbils had lost power in Zabuistan to the Buddhist Behrouzids, who had wasted no time to try and establish their dominance in the area. As the Ferzadids were followers of the true faith, and potential vassals to the Saka, who Sharasa personally admired for their constant fighting to ensure their people's survival, he would not let this stand and marxhed his troops down to help them fight of the invaders and the unruly peasants. Did they not realise that the future of the Zoroastrian faith depended on unity in the face of adversity? Truly they must be put down for the sake of all Zoroastrians. At least Kostas had provided with a nice statue to look at, he might not be so bad after all.

The war was a partial success, the Behrousids took the province of Zahedan, though they allowed the local Zoroastrian lord to countinue to reign in their stead, but both the rebels and the Taghlakids were defeated. Sensing weakness among the Behrouzids however Sharasa turned to them with a new plan, he would force the old Zunbil ruler to swear allegiance to him and then restore him to power in the area, many of the Afghan tribal leaders followed the old faith after all and would not be unhappy to see their legitamate ruler restored to power. But first things first the Turkish realm of Kanj Rustaq had been here for too long.

Not that the Saka were not without internal divisions of their own, the new Maniaid, so much less popular than the old one, had proven himself unable to keep the newly added realms on a tight leash and now they had revolted to increase their own power within the realm, led by the new leader of Fergana, who had come to power by displacing the old leader. One would think that his new ruler had taken the hint.

Both Kanj Rustaq and Bamian fell quickly enough however, though Bamian tried to call in their neighboring Afghan realms for help, leading to a large battle against the forces of Nandin and Behrouzid, though it ended quickly enough as Sharasa's battlehardened horse archers made short work against the infantry forces of the opposing sides. The plan to disunite his enemies worked perfectly as well and as he marched in towards the capital of the Behrouzids, Ghazina, the southern half of the realm, made up of Hindu and Zoroastrian rulers, rebelled against them, proving that the proverb "divide and conquer" was as true as ever. He had also done away with the old mobad of the realm, an incompetent fool who had spent his whole time hunting shadows, with a true heir to the priests of priests of old. The man was called Hvimdu and his mission was to convert the Zunbils to the true faith, to better achieve unity and morality within the empire.

While half of the Buddhist world rallied around the Nandin the could not do much as Kabul was sieged down and the few who had arrived were crushed. Knowing when to fold them the Nandin abandoned their Afghan holdings to the Saka in exchange for their countinued independence. At last all of the passes into Iran wer either controlled by the Sharasids, their soon to be vassals the Ferszadids or Tibet, speaking of which was under attack by the Ladakh in the west and the Mlechchha (don't ask me how that is supposed to be pronounced) in the east. The time, if any, to secure eastern Khotal and the last province to secure our safety from attacks to the east was now.

The Khagan had also finally given into his son, now a fully grown man of the age of 29, and secured a marriage between him and an Abbasid princess of the name Hanifa. As she herself was sympathetic towards the Zoroastrian faith and of a temperament suitable to his son, she might be allowed to marry him. Sharasa was the only one who was not happy during the wedding, even the bridal pair, usually inable to even lift their lips, were beaming. Oh well, at least she will be a handy way to legitemize the upcoming conquest of the Abbasid empire, and hopefully throw them off-guard ...


(Remember, I am still open to suggestions regarding where the new capital is going to be so keep that in mind.)

EDIT: forgot to add a picture of the Saka fighting the Nanids, it is now the second to last one.
 
Last edited:

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Nearly time to restore the Fires.
 

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Enjoying the run so far - do you plan on wiping out the Khurmazta?
Probably yeah, while the empire is relatively tolerant towards other faiths, such as the Buddhists and the Christians, heretics such as the Khurmazta and Mazdakis will have no representation in the government.
 
Part 4 - Salām-e Shāh

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The war against Tibet ended quickly as the small Tibetan army, the only thing that they could afford to send, was routed by the army of Sharasa. Seeing the need for rulers in the conquered areas, as well as a need to ensure the loyalty of his people in the upcoming struggle, Sharasa set out to reward both native nobles that had supported Saka takeover of these lands as well as many of his own warriors. In fact Kostas the doubter had finally gotten his reward for his service to the Saka by being appointed the Marzoban of Merv, not that it availed him much as he died soon thereafter.

While the recent Shah of Sogdia died from poor health his brother and successor Xutaweh would go on to finally crush the rebels. Meanwhile the Zunbils faced a worse situation as their Buddhist and Zoroastrian vassals rebelled, originally simply to limit the Satrap's power but as th war went on they decided to reinstall the Behrouzids. The revolt was successful and the Zunbils were placed in house arrest. Later on however the Khagan got enough of their scheming ways and imprisoned the new ruler for repeated violations of realm peace.


And so the moment came. Banners were called, levies raised, the population armed for this great struggle. Hvimdu himself called upon Ahura Mazda to arbitrate the righteous and the unworthy in this great war. As his troops crossed the border Sharasa made this declaration:
"Men, from this moment on we are in enemy terrotory. The ancient enemy, the Arabs, the Muslims. All of this land was once a part of the true faith, our faith, the faith in Ahura Mazda, the people still remember that time. Yet those that now rule this land are not believers, they are occupiers and defilers, who sacked our ancient cities, who destoryed the fire temples, who put the Faith on the brink of extinction, they deserve only death and that is what we shall deal them. War and death to them all, that is what I entrust you with, what Ahura Mazda entrusts you with. And once this war is finnished we may finally have peace, we may finally enjoy the fruits of our burdens, harvest what we have sown for over fourty years. This is the final conflict that many of us will experience for once it is over our empire will not lack in land for each one of you, from the steppes to the great sea in the west we shall have land and wealth aplenty, if you will only follow me in this final conflict."


Meanwhile Hanifa birthed a son to Shambhava, named Sharasa after his grandfather, the Sharasid line was once again secured. And it had to be for this war would rage on for years, and many battles would be fought against the Abbasids, greatest of which was the battle of Khourabad, where a great host of Arab soldiers gathered to fight against the entire army of 8000 men that Sharasa had managed to round up to fight in this war. And victory, though costly, was theirs. At this battle the fate of the Middle East was sealed for never again would the Abbasid Empire managa to rouse so many men but would instead have to fight a guerilla war where they struck at the places that the Saka were not present at, trying in vain to delay the inveitable.



Though the war would go on for many years, and require the occupation of large swaths of the Abbasid Empire it did eventually end, and with it an empire stretching from Syria to Sogdiana was created. But their work was not quite finnished, first they mopped up the last of the Assyrian strongholds and the remnant of the Uqaylids, the once the rulers of Armenia, now nothing more than one of the many Arab microstates that had cropped up in the area.

They were soon dealt with however and there was only one piece of the puzzle missing, Aserbaijan, rightful territory of Iran and taken by the Byzantines when they subjugated by Armenia. The war was to be swift and decisive and so they quickly crushed the byzantine armies in two major battles and then stormed the fortifications of those areas and struck peace with the Romans where Azerbaijan would become part of the Saka Empire.


And an empire it was. In the aftermath of the peace treaty against their ancient rivals, which was preceded by the birth of daughter to the crown prince named Shandramata, a great celebration was held in the ancient city of Susa, now declared to once again be the capital of the Empire of Iran. Here the Shahanshah would supervise the new administration of the realm. The first thing he did was of course to appoint himself the title of king of kings (shahanshah), ruler of Iran and protector of the faith. After that he appointed Hvimdu the title of Mobadan Mobad, as was to be expected for the head Mobad of the Shahanshah. He also restored the ancient order of the Immortals, now tasked with the defense of the Zoroastrian faith itself.

In return Hvimdu adressed the audience, the man troops standing guard, the civilians flocking to see their new ruler, the nobles and beurocrats wating to her what decrees the Shahanshah had to bring:
"People, we have been bequethed a great gift from Ahura Mazda. This man, this king of kings, ruler of rulers has led our people to victory after victory. He brought the Saka back from the brink of extinction, he saved the people of Sogdiana from chaos and brought order to Khorasan. He liberated the peoples of Iran and Mesopotamia. He is the Saoshyant, the one who brings benefit. He is the heir to not only Cyrus but also Zoroaster himself, his rule is ordained by the Divine for great benefit he has brought us and great benefit will his empire countinue to bring us, a thousand upon a thousand years it will rule these lands, to bring order and prosperity to the faithful. An empire whose equal has never existed and will never exist, so say I, Hvimdu, priest of priests."

The audience, while somewhat taken aback by this statement, broke out in applause over this. As always Sharasa remained passive at this, he was either the most stoic man in the world (unlikely if one had ever seen his behavior towards his enemies) or this had been agreed upon beforehand. As he stood there, over eighty years old and with a long white beard, he looked as strong as ever, standing tall before his audience and smiling and waving. This was however not true, old age had taken his toll on him and whereas he had once led his armies to battle from the forefront he now had to direct them from the back. He could still ride though, and would probably still do so for as long as he lived, but it was just as well that the wars were over. From here onwards he would busy himself with ruling and writing theology, many of the old works on the Zoroastrian faith had been destroyed and this new theology regarding himself, the muslims and his new empire had to be taken into account.

Then it came to deciding how to manage the realm. Dum of the Hinaza clan would become the new khagan of the nomadic tribes of the north, a position that Sharasa himself no longer could fufill as he was busy ruling in the south. Many ancient dynasties, such as the Bavanids, offshoots of the Sassanids, or the old parthian Karen clan, were restored to their positions within the realm. Many newer dynasties were also granted positions of power, the Hezarhespids, a Kurdish dynasty, were granted rulership over Kurdistan for the sacrifices they and their people had taken to try and throw of the Abbasids. Though they would eventually be crushed their martyrdom should not be forgotten. The Assyrians had also suffered much under Arab rule and would now once again become lords of their own under Iranian rule. As for the Arabs themselves while a few had become followers of the faith and were as such eligeble to rule in the Shahanshah's stead and the christian Syriacs could be considered for local rule no muslim were allowed to rule in this empire, they were hostiles who had occupied this land in the name of their god, they would not be allowed any say against the restored local rule. Thus peace and security had settled in the Middle East, at least for the time being, and a new chapter had begun in its history, one of the Saka Empire.



Wow, that really took a long time to set up, occupying all of the Abbasid land (all that I could bother with at least), giving away said land while both trying to be fair and giving the right land to right ruler and having to deal with the fact that I had too few people to give it away to, not at all helped by the fact that the game crashed quite regularly, ruining a lot of my progress. From on I am going to take a much slower pace, both in game and in real life. No more hyper conquests and don't expect updates every day. Anyway I hope that you have all enjoyed it so far.
 

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Yeah, the divvying up the spoils after a major conquest is an exercise in frustration at the best of times.

But the Persian Empire is restored. That is magnificient.
 

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Yeah, the divvying up the spoils after a major conquest is an exercise in frustration at the best of times.

But the Persian Empire is restored. That is magnificient.
Glad that you liked it.